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Mono - Hymn To The Immortal Wind CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.78 | 142 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Oh, man... I wanna give this album 5 stars for a near perfect album so bad, but I always think you should leave room for improvement. A friend handed this to me, and I fell in love with it. I saw the cover, and thought it looked beautiful with the boy and girl romantically holding hands and how they seem to be flying while there are silhouettes of hammerheads beneath the waves of the ocean. Ah, it just looked so inviting... and so little did I know that I would fall completely in love with this album.

Through a friend, I've listened to other post-rock bands and songs and a lot of them repeat and are just built entirely off of jamming on a progression, then adding layers of sounds, and then building up to a climax. However, this album is full of intense orchestration and more varying melodies as well through just one track, which introduces better transitions and chord/melody leading, which also ultimately results in more well-crafted, epic and emotional passages.

The first two songs, Ashes in the Snow and Burial at Sea, seem to take on a similar construction. They start off slower, establish their melodies and what seem to be early choruses, which consist of their first halves. Then, it seems like they use a break to give some atmosphere for transition, and then deliver the goods for the end. The only difference is that track one is more romantically dynamic and uplifting, while the other one is more tragic, yet still keeps it's dynamics ad emotions.

Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn easily became one of my favorites as well. The beginning starts off sort of eerie, and then the second half holds what seems to be more tension, yet the orchestra keeps it balanced until it's released toward the end. This is one of the tracks that I simply adore the orchestra in. It works so well.

Pure as Snow is also a great track. The guitar sounds great in the beginning in the quiet verse, and the chorus has a simply wonderful melody. By the second verse, the orchestra is more apparently and swells in; really adding to the emotion. After the second time around, that's when things start to climb, as you can hear the drums begin to pound and cymbals crash and the strings just keep going away at their melodies. The guitars practically turn into noise, like how one swells like passing wind. And just like any climax, eventually it ends, but this one you wish you could hear more of.

Follow the Map is a fantastic piece. It's simple. It doesn't need to be anything more than what it is. It doesn't strive to be anything it's not. The main melody will stay in your head long after the song or even the album is over. I love the bridge to the second repetition of the melody but with the added orchestra, because I think Mono did an excellent job feeding you right into it.

The Battle to Heaven is one of my favorite songs... ever. It essentially establishes two melodies; again, they seem like verses and choruses. But I love when things pick up with the verse melody and the guitar kicks in playing it at around the 4:00 mark. It sounds almost aggressive. Then, a transitional break to ease you for a little bit and to introduce a new emotional progression. The melodies on guitar following with it are great, while Mono decides to almost trick you with the rising and falling tension of the dynamics. You're expecting something big... and then it hits you with that orchestra and then rises as the drums pick up to a solid up-beat rhythm and the snares and cymbals just make you fall in love with it. Easily one of the coolest post-rock songs I've ever heard.

The last song, Everlasting Light, begins with a piano passage with the orchestra and guitar lightly backing it up. It's nothing short of beautiful. Then, the guitar takes the lead shortly and leads everyone into an ending that I don't even want to spoil. You'll love it; that's all I can say.

The best way to listen to this is to picture it as a film soundtrack to an epic love story set in another time and place other than your own. It's one of those albums you want to close your eyes and rely completely on your mind's creativity while listening. This is definitely one of those albums for musicians who love orchestrated music and have always wanted to rock out along with using modern instruments. The soundscapes created by both the band instruments and with that amazing orchestra are simply fantastic, and I couldn't come up with any complaints against the melodies or progressions, because they are dramatic, dynamic, intricate and just simply captivating. After saying that, I'm giving them 5 stars now.

This is truly a gorgeous album and a beautiful piece of musical work, making it one of my favorites for 2009. For others, it may not be the first idea that comes to mind when thinking of traditional prog rock, but progressive music has come so far and branched out in so many different directions that this album just has to fall somewhere in there and has to be the epitome of some division of prog. Mono has outdone themselves on this one, and it would be extremely difficult for them to top this. I tip my hat to them for this accomplishment.

PS: I also read that within the booklet to the album, there is a short story for every song. Now, I can't wait for the cd to come in the mail so I can read them.

jpgarcia7787 | 5/5 |


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